News

Mobile home residents seek rent control

Rental committee could expand Measure V protections

Barely a year old, Mountain View's experiment with rent control has already faced a withering gauntlet of controversy and legal scuffles. Now it's being primed for a dramatic expansion.

On Dec. 4, the city's Rental Housing Commission is scheduled to consider expanding the Mountain View's restrictions covering apartment rents to encompass the city's six mobile home parks. The proposal could bring an estimated 1,100 more homes under the aegis of the city's new tenant protections.

The upcoming hearing comes after months of organized efforts by residents mainly from the Santiago Villa mobile home park to press city officials to expand the law. Like apartments, mobile home parks were once an affordable housing alternative, but that has been changing as park owners have begun notching up rents or leasing out furnished units for a premium.

According to residents, the owners of Santiago Villa have made clear that their plan is to eventually push rents across the park to $2,200 per month, a rate that some say would make it the most expensive mobile home community in the country. This is a looming fear for many longtime residents, especially seniors living on fixed incomes, said Trey Bornmann, chairman of the newly formed Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance.

"We're trying to make it so that people can plan their lives," said Bornmann, who lives at Santiago Villa. "Right now our owner is using dirty tactics, jacking up the space rents and trying to turn this into a rental mobile home park."

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Santiago Villa management did not respond to requests for comment.

Mobile home parks operate differently than other types of housing. Typically, a prospective resident must purchase a mobile home, often by taking out a mortgage. The new homeowner must then pay a monthly rent for facilities, maintenance and land provided by the park management. Despite the name, mobile homes are extremely difficult to relocate, so homeowners are basically locked in with little choice but to pay whatever rent they're being charged.

For years, Santiago Villa residents have been crying foul, saying their homes have plummeted in value as a direct result of the park's rising rents. Many residents point to a common rule of thumb in the industry: every $100 in extra space rent means their home's sale value has dropped by $10,000.

At least 100 cities in California have some form of rent control ordinances specifically for mobile homes. An ordinance in San Jose caps space-rent increases to 75 percent of the Consumer Price Index. Just last month, the city of Vallejo adopted a similar measure.

Sunnyvale, with its 12 mobile home parks, is also facing growing pressure to impose some price controls. A couple years ago, the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, paid $151 million to acquired Plaza Del Rey, one of the city's largest mobile home parks. Ever since, the park's residents have been hammered by the steepest rent increases in the park's history, said Judy Pavlick, founder of the Sunnyvale Mobile Home Park Alliance. In negotiation meetings, Carlyle executives told Pavlick they were watching nearby markets to see what prices Sunnyvale could bear. She is now spearheading efforts to get a mobile home rent control ordinance on the ballot of an upcoming election.

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"We've gone to the Sunnyvale City Council, and it's clear they're not interested in helping us. They don't believe in rent control," she said.

In the buildup to last year's election, rent control proponents made a calculated political move, hinting that Measure V could be applied to mobile homes. The language in the measure deliberately referred to covered housing as "rental units," not apartments, to leave this possibility open.

Yet pretty much everyone seems to agree that expanding Measure V to include mobile homes would be fraught with challenges. Mobile homes are covered under a separate section of California law with their own set of special rules, exemptions -- and potential legal risks.

At the Dec. 4 meeting, lawyers retained by the city from the firm Goldfarb & Lipman will deliver a legal analysis of what provisions of Measure V could be applied to mobile home parks. After weighing that analysis, the Rental Housing Committee will decide whether to move forward to study expanding rent control, according to city staff.

Politically, it remains an open question whether the city's Rental Housing Committee or the City Council would support expanding rent control to mobile homes, even in concept.

"It's a complex, multifaceted issue, so it's really hard for me to say how this will pan out," said Evan Ortiz, a Measure V campaign organizer who now sits on the Rental Housing Committee. "I wonder what the most effective policy decision would be, and it might not be to expand Measure V."

If city officials decline to take action, Bornmann and other mobile home residents say they intend to begin campaigning for a separate ordinance, possibly through a ballot measure.

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Mobile home residents seek rent control

Rental committee could expand Measure V protections

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Sat, Nov 25, 2017, 11:38 am
Updated: Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 10:54 am

Barely a year old, Mountain View's experiment with rent control has already faced a withering gauntlet of controversy and legal scuffles. Now it's being primed for a dramatic expansion.

On Dec. 4, the city's Rental Housing Commission is scheduled to consider expanding the Mountain View's restrictions covering apartment rents to encompass the city's six mobile home parks. The proposal could bring an estimated 1,100 more homes under the aegis of the city's new tenant protections.

The upcoming hearing comes after months of organized efforts by residents mainly from the Santiago Villa mobile home park to press city officials to expand the law. Like apartments, mobile home parks were once an affordable housing alternative, but that has been changing as park owners have begun notching up rents or leasing out furnished units for a premium.

According to residents, the owners of Santiago Villa have made clear that their plan is to eventually push rents across the park to $2,200 per month, a rate that some say would make it the most expensive mobile home community in the country. This is a looming fear for many longtime residents, especially seniors living on fixed incomes, said Trey Bornmann, chairman of the newly formed Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance.

"We're trying to make it so that people can plan their lives," said Bornmann, who lives at Santiago Villa. "Right now our owner is using dirty tactics, jacking up the space rents and trying to turn this into a rental mobile home park."

Santiago Villa management did not respond to requests for comment.

Mobile home parks operate differently than other types of housing. Typically, a prospective resident must purchase a mobile home, often by taking out a mortgage. The new homeowner must then pay a monthly rent for facilities, maintenance and land provided by the park management. Despite the name, mobile homes are extremely difficult to relocate, so homeowners are basically locked in with little choice but to pay whatever rent they're being charged.

For years, Santiago Villa residents have been crying foul, saying their homes have plummeted in value as a direct result of the park's rising rents. Many residents point to a common rule of thumb in the industry: every $100 in extra space rent means their home's sale value has dropped by $10,000.

At least 100 cities in California have some form of rent control ordinances specifically for mobile homes. An ordinance in San Jose caps space-rent increases to 75 percent of the Consumer Price Index. Just last month, the city of Vallejo adopted a similar measure.

Sunnyvale, with its 12 mobile home parks, is also facing growing pressure to impose some price controls. A couple years ago, the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, paid $151 million to acquired Plaza Del Rey, one of the city's largest mobile home parks. Ever since, the park's residents have been hammered by the steepest rent increases in the park's history, said Judy Pavlick, founder of the Sunnyvale Mobile Home Park Alliance. In negotiation meetings, Carlyle executives told Pavlick they were watching nearby markets to see what prices Sunnyvale could bear. She is now spearheading efforts to get a mobile home rent control ordinance on the ballot of an upcoming election.

"We've gone to the Sunnyvale City Council, and it's clear they're not interested in helping us. They don't believe in rent control," she said.

In the buildup to last year's election, rent control proponents made a calculated political move, hinting that Measure V could be applied to mobile homes. The language in the measure deliberately referred to covered housing as "rental units," not apartments, to leave this possibility open.

Yet pretty much everyone seems to agree that expanding Measure V to include mobile homes would be fraught with challenges. Mobile homes are covered under a separate section of California law with their own set of special rules, exemptions -- and potential legal risks.

At the Dec. 4 meeting, lawyers retained by the city from the firm Goldfarb & Lipman will deliver a legal analysis of what provisions of Measure V could be applied to mobile home parks. After weighing that analysis, the Rental Housing Committee will decide whether to move forward to study expanding rent control, according to city staff.

Politically, it remains an open question whether the city's Rental Housing Committee or the City Council would support expanding rent control to mobile homes, even in concept.

"It's a complex, multifaceted issue, so it's really hard for me to say how this will pan out," said Evan Ortiz, a Measure V campaign organizer who now sits on the Rental Housing Committee. "I wonder what the most effective policy decision would be, and it might not be to expand Measure V."

If city officials decline to take action, Bornmann and other mobile home residents say they intend to begin campaigning for a separate ordinance, possibly through a ballot measure.

Comments

Magiemay
another community
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:46 am
Magiemay, another community
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:46 am
4 people like this

I live a mobile home park in Tucson az. We have the same problems.. this the 2nd time we have a new road put in. now they can raise our rent in September 2018 were having street people break in all the empty house..they brought in 10 brand new units


Economics
Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:34 am
Economics, Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:34 am
22 people like this

Supply, meet Demand. Demand, Supply. A pleasure, I'm sure.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 11:55 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2017 at 11:55 am
20 people like this

In response to Economics you said:

“Supply, meet Demand. Demand, Supply. A pleasure, I'm sure.”

Economics meet “price-gouging” defined as:

“Price gouging is a pejorative term referring to when a seller SPIKES THE PRICES of goods, SERVICES or commodities to a level MUCH HIGHER THAN IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE OR FAIR, and is considered EXPLOITATIVE, POTENTIALLY TO AN UNETHICAL EXTENT. Usually this event occurs after a demand or supply shock: common examples include price increases of basic necessities after hurricanes or other natural disasters. In precise, legal usage, it is the name of a crime that applies in some jurisdictions of the United States during civil emergencies. In less precise usage, IT CAN REFER EITHER TO PRICES OBTAINED BY PRACTICES INCONSISTENT WITH A COMPETITIVE FREE MARKET, OR TO WINDFALL PROFITS. In the former Soviet Union, it was simply included under the single definition of speculation.

The term is similar to profiteering but can be distinguished by being short-term and localized, and BY A RESTRICTION TO ESSENTIALS SUCH AS food, clothing, SHELTER, medicine and EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PRESERVE LIFE, LIMB AND PROPERTY. In jurisdictions where there is no such crime, the term may still be used to pressure firms to refrain from such behavior.

The term is not in widespread use in mainstream economic theory, but is sometimes used to refer to practices of a coercive monopoly which raises prices above the market rate that would otherwise prevail in a competitive environment.[1] ALTERNATIVELY, IT MAY REFER TO SUPPLIERS' BENEFITING TO EXCESS FROM A SHORT-TERM CHANGE IN THE DEMAND CURVE.

As a criminal offense, Florida's "state of emergency" law[2] is an example. PRICE GOUGING MAY BE CHARGED WHEN A SUPPLIER OF ESSENTIAL GOODS OR SERVICES SHARPLY RAISES THE PRICES ASKED IN ANTICIPATION OF OR DURING A CIVIL EMERGENCY, OR WHEN IT CANCELS OR DISHONORS CONTRACTS IN ORDER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AN INCREASE IN PRICES RELATED TO SUCH AN EMERGENCY. The model case is a retailer who increases the price of existing stocks of milk and bread when a hurricane is imminent.”( Web Link)

It would appear since the City of Mountain View recognize that there is a “state of emergency” regarding affordable housing in the meeting on October 19,2015 reported in the mercury news found here (Web Link). This would appear to qualify as a possible crime as stated here:

“Is price gouging illegal in California?

Yes, in certain circumstances. California’s anti-price gouging statute, Penal Code Section 396, prohibits raising the price of many consumer goods and services by more than 10% after an emergency has been declared.

Local laws may also contain their own prohibitions on price gouging.”

When does California’s anti-price gouging statute apply?

The statute applies immediately after the President of the United States, THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, OR CITY OR COUNTY EXECUTIVE OFFICER DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY resulting from any natural OR MANMADE DISASTER, such as an earthquake, flood, fire, riot, or storm.

Who is subject to the statute?

Individuals, businesses, and other entities must comply with the statute.

What goods and services are covered by the statute?

The statute applies to the following major necessities: LODGING (INCLUDING RENTAL HOUSING, HOTELS AND MOTELS); food and drink (including food and drink for animals); emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, blankets, soaps, diapers, temporary shelters, tape, toiletries, plywood, nails, and hammers; and medical supplies such as prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, isopropyl alcohol, and antibacterial products.”( Web Link)

I guess the economics community needs a reality check regarding this analysis.


Economics
Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:53 pm
Economics, Old Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:53 pm
46 people like this

Actually, yes. Economics will tell you that there is no such thing as price gouging, and that people should be allowed to charge whatever they want for goods and services.

Web Link

So, yes, not allowing people to charge what the market will bear is wrong.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:40 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:40 pm
8 people like this

In response to Economics you said:

“Actually, yes. Economics will tell you that there is no such thing as price gouging, and that people should be allowed to charge whatever they want for goods and services.

So, yes, not allowing people to charge what the market will bear is wrong.”

Fortunately, since political regulations are part of the Porters 5 forces model of the market, allows for the market to be controlled by forces other than simple economics. The Porter’s 5 forces model can be found here (Web Link)

The First force is that suppliers take advantage of low “Threat of new entrants” regarding the housing market.

The Second force is that suppliers take advantage of low “threat of substitutes” regarding to the housing market

The Third force that customers have and will continue to take advantage of the “Bargaining power of customers”. Especially when the market provides few choices. The fact is their simply Political regulations is the “ultimate” collective bargaining process on the market. This is what may in effect become a “Market” force to control price growth, or even make price reductions. In the 5 forces it is called the “Bargaining power of the customers” It allows customers to form an alliance which counter balances the “Bargaining power of suppliers”.

The fourth Force that for the last 20+ years the “Bargaining power of suppliers” has dictated the market prices. However that may be reversed if “Costa Hawkins” is repealed. This is a very serious threat to the domination of the market by suppliers.

The Fifth Force is “Industry Rivalry” and it practically doesn’t exist. Organizations like the California Apartment Association act as anti-competitive practices, which results in higher prices because there is no competition to keep housing costs down. The same also occurs in the Real Estate Industry, and the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners. These are organizations that “collude” to raise prices by minimizing competition.

Fortunately, the VOTERS are the ones with the ultimate “MARKET” power, and if they ACT to their own power, the ECONOMICS rules of the market will change.


Scope Creep
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm
Scope Creep, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm
37 people like this

So you mean to tell me that the rental housing fees to be collected from landlords of full service apartments with no required share from tenants is being used to pay a law firm to evaluate the pros and cons of applying Measure V to mobile homes?

That is absolutely ridiculous, that legal bill should be presented to the City and it should come out of the budget of the City Attorney who should have worked it out with Brodie anyway.

If you own a pre-1995 built apartment building, sell now while the market is hot, get out now while you can. This City is not worth the hassle.


MVMHA
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:53 pm
MVMHA, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:53 pm
23 people like this

Join the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance.
Learn the facts.

MVMHA.com


thanks BM
Cuesta Park
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:22 am
thanks BM, Cuesta Park
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:22 am
4 people like this

Dear Business Man,
at this level of research, specific quotations, and active link connections to relevant state statutes and a Minimum Of Redundant commentary and argument, I really appreciate your comments to date on this topic. At times, Less is More.


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:41 am
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:41 am
14 people like this

The "facts" listed by the MVMHA as the basis for rent control on mobile homes are quite misleading.

The MVMHA would have you believe that all renters in Mountain View receive benefits from the CSFRA. As a result, they "demand" the same protections. Well, what about renters of single family homes, duplexes and apartments constructed after 1995? That's right, they do not receive rent control.

MVHMA members already have extensive rights carved out specifically for them in California, in fact more rights than those renters not covered by CSFRA:

Web Link

They claim that their home values are harmed by rising rents. Well, my owned real estate values are harmed by rising taxes, increasing crime, increasing traffic and any downturn in the economy.

For a long while, buying a mobile home was a hack from a total cost perspective because the buyer enjoyed the tax benefits and a lower net out of pocket from renting similarly functional accommodations, but they knew at all times they did not own the land which represented a potential risk. This risk was the main determinant in keeping the prices low as most people that understood this, would steer clear of such a living arrangement.

Keep in mind also, that as original land owners pass away, the transfer of the land to their heirs is taxable, with escalating land prices, this is a real problem, the only way to pay the tax bill is to liquidate the land (sell to developer) or raise rents.

I do agree that if any mobile home park owner were unethically squeezing people out in order to "take" their homes for the purpose of turning it into their rental, should be held to account. If they had any business sense, they should have offered a buy out at market rate if the person did not want to pay the rent increase and if it was not practical for them to move their home from the land.

Either way, the MVMHA is using the same tactics as the Tenants Coalition by demonizing all mobile home park owners, which is completely false and unjust.

The only fair solution if there is any government intervention is for them to be allowed to "buy" their portion of land at prevailing market rates, i.e. the same rate per square foot that a developer is paying. If the voters want to subsidize that, fine.

So now these persons of entitlement "demand" a free ride from private property owners? What a total waste of time and resources. The issue is not the private property owners, but with entitlement/victim mindset that has been empowered by the CSFRA.


Concerned Senior
Old Mountain View
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:51 am
Concerned Senior, Old Mountain View
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:51 am
11 people like this

The article says over 100 other cities in California have Mobile Home ordinances to offer additional protections. The state law only provides basic protections on how a park owner should behave. The documents you link to has protections like "the right to assemble". That is a joke. This isn't any protection, that is a basic right. It just shows you what these people have to deal with. I am sure most renters and property owners wouldn't accept those conditions either. I think that document basically just outlines how bad an owner can be. I think the residents would still have to sue. There aren't any state mobile park police that step in when these laws are ignored.

San Jose has has an Ordinance since the 80s. It seems like Mountain View is way behind the times and out of touch. Most of them are seniors. I know it would be hard for me if my rent was uncontrolled being on a fixed income.
It just seems like the right thing for MV to do in my mind.

We always complain there isn't enough affordable housing, but when given the chance everyone makes excuses to not step up.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm
7 people like this

In response to The Truth you said:

“The "facts" listed by the MVMHA as the basis for rent control on mobile homes are quite misleading.

The MVMHA would have you believe that all renters in Mountain View receive benefits from the CSFRA. As a result, they "demand" the same protections. Well, what about renters of single family homes, duplexes and apartments constructed after 1995? That's right, they do not receive rent control.”

The truth, you know that Costa Hawkins prohibits that kind of rent control. However, when Costa Hawkins is repealed, then the CSFRA will automatically cover those as well. You said:

“They claim that their home values are harmed by rising rents. Well, my owned real estate values are harmed by rising taxes, increasing crime, increasing traffic and any downturn in the economy. “

The fact is that the rent increases are impacting the mobile home private property. It is a direct threat to their investment by those who exploit the fact the “mobile” home is not movable. Your claim that you are unfairly treated by rising taxes, increasing crime, increasing traffic and any downturn in the economy is disingenuous. You know that your property taxes are limited by proposition 13, crime is preventable with good security, traffic is an equal opportunity probelme for all, and the same regarding the economy. You also said:

“For a long while, buying a mobile home was a hack from a total cost perspective because the buyer enjoyed the tax benefits and a lower net out of pocket from renting similarly functional accommodations, but they knew at all times they did not own the land which represented a potential risk. This risk was the main determinant in keeping the prices low as most people that understood this, would steer clear of such a living arrangement. “

No it is not a “hack” it is a housing alternative. You are just complaining that perhaps you did not choose to do the same thing. You would rather force these people into your market so you can exploit them instead of the “mobile” home parks. You said:

“Keep in mind also, that as original land owners pass away, the transfer of the land to their heirs is taxable, with escalating land prices, this is a real problem, the only way to pay the tax bill is to liquidate the land (sell to developer) or raise rents. “

That is not a special case regarding any business. If this was a retail chain, or a restraint chain, the same issues would arise. This is a choice by the business owners, they were not forced into this business. So please do not try to complain that they are not being treated unfairly, you also said:

“I do agree that if any mobile home park owner were unethically squeezing people out in order to "take" their homes for the purpose of turning it into their rental, should be held to account. If they had any business sense, they should have offered a buy out at market rate if the person did not want to pay the rent increase and if it was not practical for them to move their home from the land. “

So you are open to having an investigation on those home park business, good, I am in full agreement. You said:

“Either way, the MVMHA is using the same tactics as the Tenants Coalition by demonizing all mobile home park owners, which is completely false and unjust.”

If these owners would provide transparency and not attempt to operate their business as a “black box”, I would agree with you. But like the Apartment owners, they know that public inspection would result in potential criticism for poor management. Where decisions are made not to make the most efficient use of resources, but to pass on the costs to those who do not have any consideration of the consequences. You said:

“The only fair solution if there is any government intervention is for them to be allowed to "buy" their portion of land at prevailing market rates, i.e. the same rate per square foot that a developer is paying. If the voters want to subsidize that, fine.”

You know that the park owners would never allow that. Because the land would have to be prices exclusive of the “mobile home” as part of its evaluation. It would in effect be just land alone. The “mobile” home contributes as much as 75% of that land value. You go on to say:

“So now these persons of entitlement "demand" a free ride from private property owners? What a total waste of time and resources. The issue is not the private property owners, but with entitlement/victim mindset that has been empowered by the CSFRA.”

No, it is the “market” reform that well overdue. Fortunately the CSFRA defines “Rental Unit” as:

“CSFRA Section 1702 (s) Rental Unit. Any building, STRUCTURE, or part thereof, OR LAND APPURTENANT THERETO, or any other rental property rented or offered for rent for residential purposes, together with all Housing Services connected with use or occupancy of such property, such as common areas and recreational facilities held out for use by the Tenant.”( Web Link)

Thus it appears that the CSFRA does in fact declare that a “mobile home” is a Structure and the the land rent is a “Land Appurtenant thereto”. Thus the CSFRA can and might must be applicable to mobile homes.



The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:11 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:11 pm
3 people like this

In response to thanks BM

BM reminds me of “bowel movement”. I sure hope you didn’t mean that? (just joking, LOL)

But please use TBM in the future


Mobile home owner
another community
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm
Mobile home owner, another community
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm
17 people like this

I think the quick facts listed on MVMHA.com are accurate.

Please read the law and explain how Space Rents is not covered. The voters enacted this law and we should demand to be covered. Thanks to the people that are putting this together. It is about time Mobile Homes were discussed in the larger housing crisis. We have been ignored too long!

It is funny how I can't even pick my Mobile Home Comunity as a neighborhood when commenting on MVV. We are invisible.


De La Cruz
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm
De La Cruz, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm
32 people like this

Rent control distorts the proper pricing levels and makes it harder for new people to buy into the community. Why not have the government regulate the price someone can sell their single-family house for? Or their car? Or everything?


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm
5 people like this

Residents renting land at mobile home parks have no-cause eviction protection and they knew what they were getting into by not having a long term lease on someone else's land.

Because they have so many rights, the land owner's only card to play in the event they need to cover increased expenses and liabilities is to raise the rent.

We all know that the City Attorney and their high paid consultants are gutless and they will not initially include mobile home parks because they are afraid of the backlash and have always sided against price controls on private property.

Eventually, let there be no doubt, Brodie and the Mills Legal Clinic (who telegraphed this) will force them into growing the scope.

Until then, the park owner's only shot will be getting much more selective on new tenants and enforce all community rules and lease terms vigorously. Violation of community rules and lease is a basis for eviction. They should pay attention to what happened to apartment owners, who had the ability to do no-cause evictions, most did not, now they are stuck subsidizing tenants who in many cases do not need the help.

Park owners should immediately act in order to protect themselves long term as the Mills Legal Clinic is coming for them, better to be safe than sorry.


Daddio
North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm
Daddio, North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm
15 people like this

Their website is very impressive. I wish them luck. It isn't their fault Measure V passed. They deserve the same coverage under what voters made law.

I am not sure who is hiding behind the name "The Truth" but they really sound like the definition of 1%. There goes my neighborhood. Why would you fight against these people? Or are you fighting against everything rent stabilization?


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm
29 people like this

I have nothing against renters or tenants of mobile home park land, I simply believe strongly in the rights of private property owners. The rights of private property owners should not be sacrificed in order to help the select few.

If the voters believe the public should pay for more housing and subsidize those that are priced out, fine, raise everyone's taxes and create a slush fund for that. At least that is honest. Blaming, penalizing and financially harming a subset of property owners (of pre 1995 buildings or mobile home parks) is just plain wrong.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm
7 people like this

In response to The Truth you said:

“I have nothing against renters or tenants of mobile home park land, I simply believe strongly in the rights of private property owners. The rights of private property owners should not be sacrificed in order to help the select few.”

After all the criticism you have leveled at renters and tenants you say you have nothing against them. This is like saying you’re pregnant and still a virgin. You would support the idea that if you provided a liver for transplant, and the person cannot make the payments because it was bought on a “rental” contract, you would seek to get the liver removed. You also said:

“If the voters believe the public should pay for more housing and subsidize those that are priced out, fine, raise everyone's taxes and create a slush fund for that.”

Why should the public pay for housing when the “market forces” can be used to correct for the price gouging that has been happening in the valley for more than 10 years? Why should homeowners help apartment owners make more profit? The CSFRA simply puts the responsibility on those who chose to not negotiate before the election. You also said:

“ At least that is honest. Blaming, penalizing and financially harming a subset of property owners (of pre 1995 buildings or mobile home parks) is just plain wrong.”

Again, these apartment owners and mobile home parks could have negotiated a solution before the election. They gambled that the election would not approve the CSFRA. Until these groups can prove they did not “collude” to “price gouge”, you cannot claim they are not responsible for this situation. There is no penalization when there is a method of the public scrutinizing billing practices to ensure there is no exploitation. Financial harm is controllable via skillful management of properties. Plenty of apartments make profits even with rent control, otherwise there would be absolutely no rent controlled properties in business right now. But there are plenty of them in California.


a MV resident
North Bayshore
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm
a MV resident, North Bayshore
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm
11 people like this

Mobile homes occupy a complicated place in a housing market.

First, the land is typically owned by an investor, but the home is owned by the resident, so there are two owners in this situation. Yet, the land owner has all the leverage, especially when the investor is also in the market of renting out homes (all the while, they prohibit residents from renting out own their mobile homes).

This means the park can increase their space rent, knowing that the home owner can't move their investment (mobile homes can't be moved like RVs), if the resident wants to sell and move, increasing space rent discourages buyers, so the home owner may be forced to sell at a loss to the park.

Add that mobile homes attract many senior citizens and immigrant families, you've created a perfect recipe for predatory behavior.

A free market means owners can free sell, and residents and freely move, mobile home owners can't easily do either.


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm
28 people like this

When the owners of Mobile Homes or Pre-Fabricated structures lament the fact their home is now worth less than they paid, it is no different than the apartment landlord who bought an apartment building in good faith on or after October 2015, only to have its value decimated when rent control was enacted.

The valuation at time of purchase was based on assumptions (fixed land lease or ability to charge market rates), it is the same trap. So why should the owners of Mobile Homes or Pre-Fabs be bailed out? The hypocrisy is thick with the social justice warriors who live in single family homes in places like Atherton and Menlo Park.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:30 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:30 pm
9 people like this

Posted by The Business Man
In response to The Truth you said :

“When the owners of Mobile Homes or Pre-Fabricated structures lament the fact their home is now worth less than they paid, it is no different than the apartment landlord who bought an apartment building in good faith on or after October 2015, only to have its value decimated when rent control was enacted. “

That was a risk that was in place all the time. Those who bought properties were sold that price by Realtors. You should not be complaining about the tenants because it was the Realtors that conned the buyers into thinking they had a safe investment which would have a quick and high return on investment

This is a painful situation. Many landlords are in a situation where they were enticed by real estate to get into the business by “promises”. MY LANDLORD TESTIFIED IN COURT THAT HIS “REAL ESTATE” AGENT “PROMISED” HIM HE COULD RENT MY APARTMENT AT OVER $1000.00 MORE THAN I CURRENTLY WAS PAYING, SO THAT WAS WHY HE BOUGHT THE PROPERTY AT 4.5 TIMES ITS VALUE. However real estate agents simply sell what that can at the highest price possible, and in effect do not care if the buyer winds up with a “money-pit”.

That was his responsibility to resolve, you cannot blame anyone else for it. You also said:

“The valuation at time of purchase was based on assumptions (fixed land lease or ability to charge market rates), it is the same trap. So why should the owners of Mobile Homes or Pre-Fabs be bailed out? “

The answer is YES. Why? Because those mobile home owners are not operating a “business”, it is not a “commercial operation” intended to make a profit. Apartment investors are simply NOT THE SAME. A home owner should be given significantly more consideration than an apartment building owner because it is THEIR HOME. How do you not understand the difference? You also said:

“The hypocrisy is thick with the social justice warriors who live in single family homes in places like Atherton and Menlo Park.”

Don’t you also take advantage of “Home ownership”? Aren’t you taking advantage of the same consideration regarding your home? Than why should anybody else not be allowed to do the same?


swissik
another community
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:23 pm
swissik, another community
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:23 pm
23 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Mel
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2017 at 8:29 am
Mel, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2017 at 8:29 am
14 people like this

Random incoherent ramblings are definitely not helpful, but The Business Man's posts are well thought out and informative. No one is forced to read every post, and everyone has the option to simply scroll past posts that are not of interest.


Tom Rhodes
another community
on Nov 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Tom Rhodes, another community
on Nov 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm
11 people like this

Wow, that is a huge amount to pay for rent $2,200 per month. This site shows the average for the country only being $200 -
$300 Web Link


The Donald
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Nov 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm
The Donald, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm
5 people like this

I have one question.

The Article said, "The language in the measure(refering to measure v) deliberately referred to covered housing as "rental units," not apartments, to leave this possibility open."

Well wouldn't this include storage units too?
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Donald
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Nov 29, 2017 at 12:14 am
The Donald, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2017 at 12:14 am
4 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Sid
Rex Manor
on Nov 29, 2017 at 9:50 am
Sid, Rex Manor
on Nov 29, 2017 at 9:50 am
5 people like this

I was under the impression when I signed the ballot that mobile homes were going to be covered.

Can everyone posting please educate yourself? Someone already posted the what the law defines above. Please read it so this forum can be productive. So yes if someone had a business of renting tents for residential purposes, and then provided sewer, water, electricity/gas, and trash services it could be included under the law. Of course, it would have had to be in business a long time.

CSFRA defines “Rental Unit” as:

“CSFRA Section 1702 (s) Rental Unit. Any building, STRUCTURE, or part thereof, OR LAND APPURTENANT THERETO, or any other rental property rented or offered for rent for residential purposes, together with all Housing Services connected with use or occupancy of such property, such as common areas and recreational facilities held out for use by the Tenant.”


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm
5 people like this

Very Critical New Information:

The City Staff Report for the next RHC Session states:

“The CSFRA further defines Covered Rental Units as all Rental Units not specifically exempted by the CSFRA (CSFRA § 1702(d)). Therefore, the next step in the analysis is whether any of the exemptions would apply to the rental of mobile home spaces or mobile homes. After reviewing all of the exemptions found in Sections 1703 and 1704 of the CSFRA, STAFF DETERMINED THAT THE RENTAL OF MOBILE HOME SPACES ARE COVERED BY THE CSFRA. “

Well, that means that those living in those mobile home spaces prior to October 2015 and continuing, are entitled to that rent to be rolled back to October 2015, and a retroactive refund of any increased rent from that amount from December, 23rd, 2016 till today.

It also said:

“The answer is not as straightforward for the rental of mobile homes. GIVEN THE AMBIGUITIES IN BOTH STATE LAW AND THE CSFRA, IT WOULD BE REASONABLE FOR THE RHC TO CONCLUDE THE RENTAL OF MOBILE HOMES IS COVERED OR NOT COVERED. In other words, the RHC can make a determination whether the mobile homes are Covered Rental Units under the CSFRA.”

But if the RHC decides to not include rent of the mobile home itself, this will result in some litigation. That is because it will be NECESSARY to establish a JUDICIAL DETERMIATION. The RHC is not a court.

In any case, it appears that most peopled residing in Mobile Homes have their own mortgage for it. Thus it may not be a serious issue at this time.

I am grateful that the City Staff Report finally did make it clear that the land rent is subject to the CSFRA.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
5 people like this

I hope that there will be plenty of Mobile Home residents at the next meeting.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE THERE.


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Dec 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm
7 people like this

As additional incentive for lessees of mobile home park land, you can learn how to frivolously sue for triple damages on your rollback like this CSFRA related suit:

17SC070550 | Steven Goldstein vs ADOI LLC

What a joke with no legitimate basis, a waste of the good taxpayers of Santa Clara County’s money.

The principals of ADOI are great people.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm
3 people like this

In response to The Truth,

Ahh, the notorious "kill the messenger" defense.

Please demonstrate any evidence to demonstrate your claim:

"As additional incentive for lessees of mobile home park land, you can learn how to frivolously sue for triple damages on your rollback like this CSFRA related suit:

17SC070550 | Steven Goldstein vs ADOI LLC

What a joke with no legitimate basis, a waste of the good taxpayers of Santa Clara County’s money.

The principals of ADOI are great people"

I will not go into the details unless you request it regarding the statutory basis for the case. But it is interesting, isn't this what Donald Trump said about Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates. Oh yes, he now says they deserve what they may get in court.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2017 at 10:31 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2017 at 10:31 am
3 people like this

OK here is the legal case details:

May it please the Court:

The plaintiff, Steven M. Goldstein, points out that the defendant ADOI LLC has refused to be in compliance of the City of Mountain View City Charter Sections 1701-1720 inclusively. This matter requires the court to act due to the troublesome history of dysfunction of the City of Mountain View. The plaintiff wishes to give the court a context of the situation.

The plaintiff is entitled to the base rent defined under Section 1702 definitions declaring that “(b) Base Rent. The Base Rent is the reference point from which the lawful Rent shall be determined and adjusted in accordance with this Article. (1) Tenancies commencing on or before October 19, 2015. The Base Rent for tenancies that commenced on or before October 19, 2015 shall be the Rent in effect on October 19, 2015.” Because the plaintiff resided at his apartment since July 2007 continuously. The defendant raised the rent in May 2016 from $1,300.00 a month to $2,200.00 a month.

The date of when the rent rollback was effective is defined under Section 1720 declaring that “This Amendment to the City Charter shall be effective only if approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon and shall go into effect ten (10) days after the vote is declared by the City Council. The Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to execute this Article to give evidence of its adoption by the voters.” That meeting was described above on December 13th, 2016, thus the effective date is December 23rd, 2016.

The defendant has willfully refused refunding unlawfully collected rent from December 23rd, 2016 to April 30, 2017 in violation of Section 1714 (a) and (b) the part (a) states:

“Landlord's Demand or Retention of Excessive Rent. When a Landlord demands, ACCEPTS, RECEIVES, OR RETAINS ANY PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF THE LAWFUL RENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED HEREUNDER, including in violation of the provisions ensuring compliance with habitability standards and maintenance of Housing Services, the TENANT MAY FILE A PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION 1710 OR FILE A CIVIL SUIT AGAINST THE LANDLORD. A Landlord who demands, accepts, receives, or retains any payment of Rent in excess of the lawful Rent SHALL BE LIABLE TO THE TENANT IN THE AMOUNT BY WHICH THE PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS HAVE EXCEEDED THE LAWFUL RENT. In such a case, the Rent shall be adjusted to reflect the lawful Rent pursuant to this Article and its implementing regulations.”

Part (b) also states:

“Civil Remedies. A TENANT MAY BRING A CIVIL SUIT IN THE COURTS OF THE STATE ALLEGING THAT A LANDLORD HAS VIOLATED ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE OR THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED HEREUNDER, including that the Landlord has demanded, ACCEPTED, RECEIVED, OR RETAINED A PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF THE LAWFUL RENT. In a civil suit, a Landlord found to violate this Article shall be liable to the Tenant for all actual damages, including but not limited to the damages described in Subsection (a) herein. A prevailing tenant in a civil action brought to enforce this Article shall be awarded reasonable attorneys fees and costs as determined by the court. ADDITIONALLY, UPON A SHOWING THAT THE LANDLORD HAS ACTED WILLFULLY OR with oppression, fraud, or malice, THE TENANT SHALL BE AWARDED TREBLE DAMAGES. NO ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDY NEED BE EXHAUSTED PRIOR TO FILING SUIT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION.”

When the case challenging CSFRA was dismissed in April, 2017, the code was restored. The Landlord in this case simply refused to refund the overpayment for at least 100 days, thus forcing the filing of the lawsuit. The simple fact is that the defendant forces the plaintiff to seek legal action due to this WILLFUL CONDUCT thus the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages, however since this court has a maximum cap of $10,000. The plaintiff is going to lose some of it entitled remedy, it is just above the Small claims court maximum.


The Truth
Registered user
North Whisman
on Dec 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm
The Truth, North Whisman
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm
6 people like this

ADOI did not act with malice and provided the roll back refund promptly, once the CSFRA was formally recognized as in effect by the City of MV. The landlord followed the City’s guidance to the letter, this is proven fact. The landlord could not have reasonably followed any other course. The judge will see this logically for sure.

Suing for damages in excess of rollback already received smacks of greed and ultimate selfishness, especially when the plaintiff is receiving ridiculously low subsidized rent from the defendant. If only Santa Clara County could recover court costs from the plaintiff once this suit is dismissed, then justice would be served. Make no mistake, this silly case will be dismissed.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2017 at 3:08 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2017 at 3:08 pm
3 people like this

In response to The Truth you said:

“ADOI did not act with malice and provided the roll back refund promptly, once the CSFRA was formally recognized as in effect by the City of MV.”

Malice is not essential because if you read the language it states:

“Additionally, upon a showing that the landlord has acted willfully OR with oppression, fraud, or malice, the tenant shall be awarded treble damages. No administrative remedy need be exhausted prior to filing suit pursuant to this subsection.”

The language uses the word OR and NOT AND. Thus all that is necessary is willful withholding of the overpayment be satisfied. No demonstration of oppression, fraud or malice is required. If the statement stated AND you would be correct. The landlord was issued a demand letter with my May rent regarding overpayment refund. Thus he willfully withheld the overpayment for 100 days. That was when the plaintiff filed the complaint. The landlord knew he was violating the CSFRA, you also stated:

“The landlord followed the City’s guidance to the letter, this is proven fact. The landlord could not have reasonably followed any other course. The judge will see this logically for sure.”

The landlord had many courses of action, for example the building next door provided refunds after the CAA challenge was dismissed. THAT WAS A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE NOT TAKEN. The fact was the city guidance was not necessary given that the CSFRA Code was active when the demand letter was issued was restored. This city guidance was simply not necessary regarding the overpayment. You said:

“Suing for damages in excess of rollback already received smacks of greed and ultimate selfishness, especially when the plaintiff is receiving ridiculously low subsidized rent from the defendant.”

Your criticism of the current policy notwithstanding, it simply doesn’t have any legal basis. The plaintiff lived in the apartment since July 2007, years before change of ownership. The plaintiff contributed to the value of the apartment for at least 7 years prior to the change of ownership.. You said:

“If only Santa Clara County could recover court costs from the plaintiff once this suit is dismissed, then justice would be served. Make no mistake, this silly case will be dismissed.”

The hearing took place on November 17, 2017, if the court could have determined that the case had no merit, it would have already issued a decision. The longer it takes, the more likely the plaintiff may prevail. You simply do not address the legal issues, and try to “attack” the character of the plaintiff. A very questionable point of view.


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